By COSTA B. PAPPAS
Pima Community College has a way to give back to the hardworking staff through sabbaticals. A sabbatical is a paid leave granted by a university for the staff member to study as well as travel.
The subjects of study range as do the locations necessary to complete them. Pima faculty members Jose Maria Menendez, Sandra Ley, Kris Swank and Lisa Wermer are asking for a sabbatical for the 2019-2020 school year.
Jose Maria Menendez, a mathematical instructor, is asking for a full-paid fall semester sabbatical to write a book for pre-calculus teachers at the college institution level. According to the BoardDoc’s meeting, the purpose of this book is to prepare instructors to teach this subject with an “equity, diversity, and social justice perspective.” During this sabbatical period, Menendez’s objectives are to find and gain contact with publishers to read further teaching material on the subject and to complete the manuscript as well as submitting a proposal.
Sandra Ley, a librarian, asks for a full-paid sabbatical for spring of 2020. To further increase students’ use of the college library, she wants to perform community service for the Arizona Historical Society while gaining greater knowledge of Fashion Design and Clothing and Digital Arts. This will help her start a social media marketing strategy to develop the students coming to the library.
Kris Swank, a librarian at Northwest Campus, is asking for a full-paid sabbatical for the fall of 2019 along with a half-paid spring of 2020 sabbatical. Her objective is to build on her doctoral thesis work on The Creative Uses of Irish Mythology, Literature and Language through Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. This will help her finish much of her thesis work all while gaining the tools necessary to aid Pima’s students researching literature.
Lisa Werner, a biology instructor at the west campus, asks for a full-paid sabbatical for the fall semester to develop educational resources by using illustration techniques for cell biology. The sabbatical will allow her to gain the design skills needed to tell these stories that will educate Pima students. The illustrations will all be free and allow all students to use them whenever needed.
Werner explained that she had been, “wanting to do a sabbatical for over 10 years because there are so many projects I see than can be done to improve biology teaching.” She added how excited she is for this journey as she takes “courses in illustration, design and Adobe Creative Cloud and producing animations and other artwork.”
There is a cost to sabbaticals. As U.S. News is showing the costs of several sabbaticals, one man’s six month sabbatical cost “$30,000” while another couple spent “$80,000” for a 2-year sabbatical. The costs vary, but when it comes to school officials there is also the cost of hiring a replacement for these PCC staff members. The total cost will be $128,800.
It is clear that one must give back to those that constantly support everyone’s educational pathway. The Board of Governors, with the recommendation of The Chancellor, approved these sabbaticals on March 13.